The Environmental Journal of Southern Appalachia
Tuesday, 26 July 2022 15:32

Congo retreats from climate commitments to fuel its fossil energy sector

NYT: Why should we care when you built your world with fossil fuels?

The government of Congo is recruiting fossil-fuel extractors to suck oil from beneath tropical forest and bog ecosystems that rival the Amazon in their role as carbon sinks.

Opponents say it’s another step in knocking over the dominoes of climate renewal as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to roil energy markets and threaten international commitments to addressing climate change.

“The oil and gas blocks, which will be auctioned in late July, extend into Virunga National Park, the world’s most important gorilla sanctuary, as well as tropical peatlands that store vast amounts of carbon, keeping it out of the atmosphere and from contributing to global warming,” according to the New York Times.

Leaders say the global energy paradigm has shifted to the point it makes little sense to prioritize the natural environment over boosting the economy of an impoverished nation.

According to NYT: “That’s our priority,” Mr. Mpanu said, in an interview last week. “Our priority is not to save the planet.”